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What follows are brief introductions to the top leaders of independently owned wine companies from the Business Journal's Independently Owned Wineries list, published in March, and the Wine Companies list, published in this issue.

Also included in this feature are some significant players in North Coast wine business who have acquired wineries that were on the lists. Two examples are Foley Family Wines, which acquired Sebastiani Vineyards of Sonoma, and Sonoma Wine Co., which purchased Cartlidge & Brown of American Canyon.

The following are sorted alphabetically by winery name.

Mike Benziger

Founder and estate winemaker

Benziger Family Winery, 1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen 95442, 888-490-2739, www.benziger.com

Mike Benziger is co-founder and estate winemaker of a winery that has been a leader in Biodynamic farming and environmentally friendly winegrowing since 1980. That's when he purchased the family ranch on the eastern side of Sonoma Mountain. He has been overseeing the scaling back of the business from high volume to high quality.

Peter Mondavi Jr. and Marc Mondavi

Co-proprietors

C. Mondavi & Sons, 2800 Main St., St. Helena 94574, 707-967-2200, www.charleskrug.com

Marc and Peter Jr. Mondavi oversee Napa Valley's oldest winery, started by Charles Krug in 1861 and acquired by their grandparents Cesare and Rosa Mondavi in 1943. At 1.3 million cases produced last year, the winery is among one of the North Coast's largest producers. Brands are mass-market-oriented CK Mondavi and Charles Krug, which is being positioned toward the higher end of the market.

Born in 1954, Marc Mondavi started working at the winery at age 10 and returned after college in 1978.

Peter Mondavi Jr., born in 1958, has graduate engineering training and has been heavily involved in the nine-year vineyard and facility capital project. The $44.5 million project involved replanting 405 of the 850 acres of vines, upgrading the winery to produce both main brands and renovating the carriage house and cellar Mr. Krug constructed.

Ken Born

President and chief operating officer

Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery, 10300 Chalk Hill Road, Healdsburg 95448, 707-838-4306, www.chalkhill.com

When Peggy Furth last August announced her new position as chief executive officer of the winery attorney and co-chairman Fred Furth started in 1972, she  promoted Ken Born to president and chief operating officer. Mr. Born had been managing the Furth finances, including the winery, for 12 years.

John Clews

Winemaker and chief operating officer

Clos Du Val, 5330 Silverado Trail, Napa 94558, 707-261-5200, www.closduval.com

John Clews is in charge of vineyard and winemaking for the winery John Goelet and Bernard Portet started in 1972, in time to participate in the famed 1976 Paris tasting. The winery is one of five wine operations the Goelet family owns in the U.S., Australia and France.

Mr. Clews came to the winery in April 1999 after serving as general manager and chief enologist for Steele Wines in Lake County and wine production stints at Newton Vineyard in Napa Valley and Preston Vineyards in Sonoma County. A career in accountancy in London in the 1970s shifted for the Rhodesian native to winemaking after attending college in South Africa.

Joe Shoemaker

Chief executive officer

The Coppola Companies, 820 Airpark Road, Napa 94558, 707-968-1120

Joe Shoemaker is chief executive officer of The Coppola Companies, which oversees the hospitality, entertainment and wine business holdings of Francis Ford Coppola. Wine industry ventures, which are estimated to produce nearly 1 million cases a year, include Rubicon Estate Winery in Rutherford and Francis Ford Coppola Winery, formerly Rosso & Bianco, in Geyserville.

Following work to enhance the exclusivity of the Rubicon property, the Geyserville winery currently is undergoing a multiyear renovation to create a resort-style destination.

Jay Schuppert

President, director of marketing and sales

Cuvaison Estate Wines, 4550 Silverado Trail North, Calistoga 94515, 707-942-6266, www.cuvaison.com

In 2001 Jay Schuppert became president of the winery, started 40 years ago and acquired in 1979 by the Schmidheiny family. He started there as director of marketing and sales in 1998. Before that he worked for seven years in sales at Kendall-Jackson, where he launched the Regal Wine Co. distributorship.

In his time at Cuvaison, Mr. Schuppert took the brand to global markets, led construction of an estate winery among 400 acres of vines in Los Carneros appellation in 2004 and oversaw completion this year of a new barrel room at the Brandlin Ranch property in Calistoga and tasting rooms at both wineries.

Mike Holden

President and chief operating officer

Don Sebastiani & Sons, 135 W. Napa St., Sonoma 95476, 707-933-1704, www.donandsons.com

Mike Holden joined the negociant producer of edgy brands as president and chief operating officer late last year after heading operations at Napa-based The Coppola Companies. He has more than two decades of wine business experience, rising from entry-level alcoholic beverage sales in England to senior sales, marketing and business development management with Diageo, Allied Domecq and Jim Beam Co.

Mr. Holden came to "Don & Sons," started in 2001 by Don Sebastiani and his sons, Donny and August, at a time the company is transitioning to oversight by Donny Sebastiani, and the company has been looking for someone with global experience in dynamic, innovative branding for existing and new labels. The company shipped 1.8 million cases last year.

Don Wallace

President

Dry Creek Vineyard, 3770 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg 95448, www.drycreekvineyaRoadcom

Don Wallace became president in April 2006. A fourth-generation farmer, he worked for 15 years in international construction but switched back to agriculture in 1980, when he met founder and Chairman David Stare's daughter Kim Stare Wallace. The two married in 1982. Mr. Wallace joined Dry Creek Vineyard in 1990 to manage ranch operations, which now cover 200 estate acres. The winery shipped 95,000 cases last year.

Bill Foley II

Proprietor

Foley Family Wines, 389 Fourth St. E., Sonoma 95476, 707-933-3200, www.foleyfamilywines.com

Bill Foley II is proprietor of Foley Family Wines, created in February of this year after the acquisition of Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery in Sonoma in December. Starting with the first acquisition in 1996, his portfolio now includes Lincourt Winery, Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery and Firestone Winery all in Santa Barbara County; high-end cab producer Merus in Napa Valley; and Three Rivers Winery in Walla Walla, Wash. Kuleto Estate was acquired earlier this year.

Mr. Foley combined marketing, finance, operations and human resources for all the brands in Sonoma with Tim Matz as president.

"We have all seen some of those larger wine companies take a great brand and practically destroy it by trying to 'maximize economies of scale,' but sometimes they overdo it and become homogenized," Mr. Foley said. "That is not how we operate at Foley Family Wines."

Louis J. Foppiano

General manager

Foppiano Vineyards, 12707 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg 95448, 707-433-7272, www.foppiano.com

A pinot noir and petite sirah pioneer, Louis J. Foppiano is grandson of Giovanni Foppiano, who started the Russian River Valley winery in 1896, and has been overseeing the family business since his father, Louis A. Foppiano, died in 1925.

His son, Louis M. Foppiano, born in 1947, is general manager. The Foppiano family is preparing for ongoing leadership of the business. The winery is supplied by 200 acres of vines and produces roughly 50,000 cases a year.

Katrina Frey

Director of sales

Frey Vineyards, 14000 Tomki Road, Redwood Valley 95470, 707-485-5177, www.freywine.com

Katrina Frey manages Frey Vineyards, which specializes in organic and Biodynamic wines. The winery, located in Mendocino County's Redwood Valley, shipped 75,000 cases last year. Jonathan, Matthew and Paul Frey, the eldest of 12 children, opened the winery in 1980.

Matt Gallo

Vice president of coastal operations

Gallo Family Vineyards, 3387 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg 95448, 707-431-5500, www.gallosonoma.com

Matt Gallo oversees California coastal operations for Modesto-based E&J Gallo, overseeing the Gallo Family Vineyards brand, formerly called Gallo of Sonoma. Other North Coast brands are Barefoot, acquired in 2005; Ghost Pines Vineyard; Louis M. Martini, acquired in 2002; Marcelina; William Hill Estate, acquired in 2007 from Beam Wine Estates; Frei Brothers; and MacMurray Ranch.

Juan Furne

President

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Freixenet USA, 23555 Highway 121, Sonoma 95476, 707-996-7256, www.gloriaferrer.com

Juan Furne came to Sonoma Carneros sparkling wine house Gloria Ferrer in 1985 as a regional sales manager, rising to West Coast sales manager of the Ferrer family's Freixenet USA sparkling wine import business in 1990 and national sales manager in 2000. He was named president in 2002.

Gloria Ferrer has continued to grow, despite a slower market for wine sales last year, by seeking ways to offer value and increase on-premise sales, according to Mr. Furne. The company produced 177,600 cases last year and  is set to produce 175,000 cases in 2009.

"At a time when the industry is going through a great deal of consolidation, we have solidified our strategic alliances with the strongest wholesalers in each market," Mr. Furne said.

Mike Grgich

Co-owner and winemaker

Violet Grgich

Co-owner and operations

Grgich Hills Cellar,  1829 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford 94573, 707-963-2784, www.grgich.com

Miljenko "Mike" Grgich, 86, made a name for Napa Valley in 1976 when his 1973 chardonnay for Chateau Montelena beat French wines in the legendary Paris tasting. He was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame last year. He and Hills Brothers Coffee co-owner Austin Hills formed Grgich in 1977. Mr. Grgich anticipates his 51st vintage this year.

"My father taught me, 'Every day do something a little better,' and that's not only good advice for winemaking but for living," Mr. Grgich said.

His daughter, Violet, born in 1965, is now co-owner and oversees operations with Ivo Jeremaz, vice president of vineyards and production. The winery makes 60,000 to 70,000 cases a year from 366 acres of certified Biodynamic estate vines.

Dennis Groth

President

Groth Vineyards, 750 Oakville Cross Road, Oakville 94562, 707-944-0290, www.grothwines.com

Dennis Groth and his wife, Judy, started Groth Vineyards in 1982, while he was a leader at Atari. After the sale of the software company in 1984, the accountant turned high-tech executive focused his attention to wine.

He was involved in industry efforts to create standards for sustainable business practices. The operation has 137 acres of vines and shipped 66,000 cases of wine last year.

Tom Selfridge

President

The Hess Collection, 4411 Redwood Road, Napa 94558, 707-255-1144, www.hesscollection.com

Switzerland-based Hess Group named Tom Selfridge winery president in 2005. The winery has more than 1,000 acres of vines in California, with about 700 in Napa Valley and 300 in the Soledad area of Monterey County. The winery operates out of the former Christian Brothers Mont La Salle winery and a newer winery and barrel-aging facility in American Canyon.

The company has been undertaking a $30 million vine replanting program in Napa Valley and employing environmentally friendly systems, such as wastewater treatment, grazing instead of mowing and solar power.

Joy Sterling

Chief executive officer

Iron Horse Vineyards, 9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol 95472, 707-887-1507, www.ironhorsevineyards.com

In 2006, Joy Sterling took the reins of Iron Horse. Her parents, Barry and Audrey Sterling, started the west Sonoma County winery in 1979. A former journalist with United Press International and ABC, Joy Sterling came to the family winery in a sales role in 1985. The winery shipped 28,600 cases last year and had sales of $6.6 million.

"Iron Horse is our business and it is our home," Joy Sterling said. "Three generations live on the property, ranging in age from 14 to 79. In the vineyards, the winery, the gardens, our lifestyle and community life, we strive to put back more than we take out."

Kathryn Lindstrom

General manager

J Vineyards & Winery, 11447 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg 95448, 707-431-5400, www.jwine.com

Chief Executive Officer Judy Jordan appointed Kathryn Lindstrom general manager and chief financial officer in mid-2006. Before that position, she was director of finance and administration at Opus One Winery. Ms. Jordan launched J in 1987 with help of her father, oilman and vintner Thomas Jordan Jr. The Russian River Valley winery has branched from sparkling wine into table wine with the J Vineyard brand.

Clay Gregory

President

Jackson Family Wines, 425 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403, 707-544-4000, www.kj.com

Clay Gregory has been at the helm of Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke's wine operations since May 2004, after moving from top management at the former Robert Mondavi Corp. The Jackson family's wine businesses include the divisions Kendall-Jackson Vineyard Estate, Jackson Wine Estates International, White Rocket and boutique brand-oriented Artisans & Estates. Annual production is roughly 5 million cases globally from vineyard holdings totaling 14,000 acres in California alone.

John Jordan

Chief executive officer

Jordan Vineyard & Winery, 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg 95448, 707-431-5250   www.jordanwinery.com

Jordan Oil & Gas Co. owner Thomas Jordan Jr. acquired several hundred acres in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley in 1972 and opened the landmark chateau-like winery in 1976. His son John rose to leadership of the winery in 2006. The winery last year shipped 88,000 cases and had sales of $24.7 million.

Bill Phelps

President

Joseph Phelps Vineyards, 200 Taplin Road, St. Helena 94574, 707-963-2745, www.jpvwines.com

An investment banking attorney for 20 years, Bill Phelps moved to Napa Valley in 1998 to help his father, Joseph Phelps, who started the winery in 1972, with the acquisition of land on the Sonoma Coast for Freestone Vineyards. Born in 1954, Bill Phelps took over as president last year with the death of longtime president Tom Shelton. The Freestone winery was completed in time for crush in 2007.

Gary Heck

Owner, president and chairman

F. Korbel & Bros., 13250 River Road, Guerneville 95446, 707-824-7000, www.korbel.com

Since 1954 the Heck family has owned the Korbel Champagne Cellars brand, established in Russian River Valley in 1882. Gary Heck became president in 1982 and chairman in 1984.

The family wine portfolio also includes the Heck Estates group of brands, which are Madrone Vineyards, King's Ransom, Kenwood Vineyards, Lake Sonoma Winery, Valley of the Moon and Korbel California Brandy.

The company is the largest U.S. sparkling wine producer by volume. Shipments reached 2.3 million cases last year, mostly of Korbel, with revenue of $165 million.

Don Chase

President

Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards, P.O. Box 639, Kenwood 95452, 707-833-5501, www.kunde.com

Don Chase is president of Kunde, which has been in the family since Louis Kunde started it in 1904. The winery owns 800 acres of vines and produces about 100,000 cases a year. Mr. Chase's two-plus-decade North Coast wine career includes several family-owned high-end companies, such as Rutherford Hill, Quintessa and Clos Du Val, where he was chief operating officer.

Paul Dolan

Partner

Mendocino Wine Co., 501 Parducci Road, Ukiah 95482, 707-463-5350,   www.mendocinowineco.com

Paul Dolan, 58, is a fourth-generation winemaker and an early visionary in "sustainable winegrowing." In 2004 he retired from Fetzer and joined Tim and Tom Thornhill in forming Mendocino Wine Co. and acquiring Parducci Wine Cellars. The wine company has been aligning itself to become a carbon-neutral operation. He joined Fetzer Vineyards in Hopland in 1977 as winemaker and launched the first national organic wine brand, Bonterra, in 1991.

Jim Pedroncelli

Proprietor, director of sales and marketing

J. Pedroncelli Winery, 1220 Canyon Road, Geyserville 95441, 707-857-3531, www.pedroncelli.com

John Pedroncelli Sr. started the Dry Creek Valley winery in 1927. His sons, John Jr. and Jim, purchased the winery from him in 1963. Jim first started with sales and marketing duties in 1957. The winery produces 40,000 to 50,000 cases a year and had sales of $3.5 million in 2008.

Dennis Carroll

President and chief operating officer, Sonoma Wine Co.; president, Purple Wine Co., P.O. Box 390, Graton 95444, 707-938-9229, purplewine.com, sonomawineco.com

Dennis Carroll is president and chief operating officer of custom vintner Sonoma Wine Co. and president of sister organization Purple Wine Co., which produces the brands Avalon, BEX, Blue Jean, Mark West and Rock Rabbit. Sonoma Wine has seven North Coast facilities, including six wineries and one casegoods warehouse. The most recent addition was the acquisition of Cartlidge & Brown in American Canyon this year.

Mr. Carroll's history with the company dates back to the Associated Vintage Group, which brothers Derek and Courtney Benham purchased in 2000 as Codera Wine Co., the predecessor of Derek Benham's ventures Sonoma Wine and Purple Wine companies. Mr. Carroll started as a financial consultant and CPA for Deloitte & Touche and eventually became a top executive for Illuminations, the Good Guys and Beverages & More. Dennis began his career at Deloitte & Touche where he was a financial consultant/CPA.

Tom Klein

Proprietor

Rodney Strong Wine Estates, P.O. Box 6010, Healdsburg 95448, 707-433-6511, www.rodneystrong.com

Tom Klein's family has been involved in California agribusiness for about a century. With a background in management consulting Mr. Klein assumed leadership of the business in 1984, and in 1989 Klein Foods acquired Rodney Strong Vineyards.

The company has invested more than $90 million in facility upgrades and vineyard deals to line up Sonoma County-specific sourcing. In the past few years, the Sonoma Vineyards brand was launched to focus on the popular premium tier segment of the market, while Davis Bynum winery was acquired and a winery-within-a-winery was set up to focus on higher-end wines.

Morgan Zaninovich

Vice president and general manager

Rutherford Wine Co., 1680 Silverado Trail, St. Helena 94574, 707-968-3200, www.rutherfordwine.com

Morgan Zaninovich is vice president and general manager of Rutherford Wine Co., which acquired Rutherford Ranch Vineyards and Winery in 2000. The company is owned by Marko Zaninovich, who started table grape grower Sunview Vineyards in 1940 and bulk and custom vintner ASV Wines in 1982. Rutherford Wine produces more than 350,000 cases annually.

Christopher Silva

President and CEO

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, 500 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa 95409, 800-543-7713, www.stfranciswine.com

Former attorney Christopher Silva comes from the Zucchetti and Cassina dairy families in Petaluma. St. Francis owners Joe Martin and Lloyd Canton gave him the helm of the winery at the start of 2003. He had been chief operating officer for four years.

Emma Swain

Chief executive officer

St. Supery Vineyards & Winery, 8440 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford 94573, 707-963-4507, www.stsupery.com

Emma Swain is the new chief executive officer of St. Supery, which the Skalli family launched in 1988. She replaced Michaela Rodeno, who retired in April of this year after guiding the winery from inception.

Ms. Swain's career includes Rubicon Estate and Sebastiani Vineyards, which she left in January of this year, just after it was acquired by Foley Familiy Wines. She had been there since 2001, overseeing international sales, hospitality and administration and is credited with the repositioning of the brand.

Richard Ward and David Graves

Managing partner and general partner

Saintsbury, 1500 Los Carneros Ave.,   Napa 94559, 707-252-0592, www.saintsbury.com

Richard Ward and David Graves have grown the pinot noir-focused Carneros winery from 2,000 cases at its launch 1981 to about 60,000 cases a year. In 2007 chardonnay and pinot noir production was relocated from the Los Carneros winery to a 19,000-square-foot winemaking facility just south of Sonoma to allow higher-end pinot noir production in Carneros.

Hugh Davies

President and CEO

Schramsberg Vineyards, 1400 Schramsberg Road, Calistoga 94515, 707-942-6668, www.schramsberg.com

Hugh Davies is president and CEO of sparkling wine house Schramsberg Vineyards. His late parents, Jack and Jamie Davies, purchased the abandoned property in 1965, when Hugh was born. After earning a graduate enology degree, Mr. Davies worked at Moet et Chandon, Petaluma Winery in Australia and Mumm Napa. In 2005, his family named him to the current position after a number of years as winemaker and general manager.

Schramsberg produces 70,000 cases of sparkling wine and 2,500 cases of J. Schram and Schramsberg Reserve still wines.

The winery sources fruit from 90 different sites to create naturally structured sparkling wine.

"Because of this, we don't need to chaptalize [add sugar] or acidify our wines, and we produce a sparkling wine that easily competes with the best from France at a price point that provides the consumer with excellent value for their money," Mr. Davies said.

Walter Schug

Owner and winemaster emeritus

Schug Carneros Estate Winery, 602 Bonneau Road, Sonoma 95476, 800-966-9365, www.schugwinery.com

The roots of pinot noir run deep for Walter Schug, born 1935 and  raised on the grounds of top German pinot noir estate Staatsweingut Assmannshausen, where his father was winemaker. He came to California in 1959 after five years in German winemaking and went onto lead Gallo's grower relations in Northern California then winemaker for Joseph Phelps. In 1983, Mr. Schug started his own winery and two years later was part of the founding of the Carneros Quality Alliance.

He retired in 2007, and now his son and managing partner, Axel, is at the helm. The Schug brand produced 50,000 cases of wine from 42 acres of vines, 18 of pinot noir and 24 of chardonnay.

E. Peter Seghesio Jr.

Chief executive officer

Seghesio Family Vineyards, 14730 Grove St., Healdsburg 95448, 707-433-3579, www.seghesio.com

Peter Seghesio is chief executive officer, operating Seghesio Family Vineyards with his winemaker cousin Ted.  The Seghesios have been making wine from a 400-acre ranch in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley since 1902, but Ted Seghesio launched the namesake brand in 1983. Pete joined the business in 1986. In 1993 the cousins acquired ownership amid tax challenges, and Pete Seghesio became general manager. He created national distribution and started scaling back annual production from 130,000 cases. Today the operation makes 70,000 to 80,000 cases, focused on zinfandel.

David Duncan

President and chief executive officer

Silver Oak Cellars,  P.O. Box 414,   Oakville 94562,  707-944-8808   www.silveroak.com

David Duncan over sees high-end cabernet sauvignon producer Silver Oak Cellars, started by his father, Ray, and Justin Meyer in 1972, as well as Twomey Cellars, which the Duncans started in Calistoga in 1999. Production last year was 74,000 cases.

David Duncan developed a financial model for Silver Oak as part of earning an MBA in 1994. He progressed to president of his father's Duncan Oil company then to general manager of Silver Oak in 2002, overseeing the acquisition of Napa Valley and Sonoma County wineries to support Silver Oak and Twomey as well as the reconstruction of the Oakville winery after the 2006 fire. He also helps manage a chain of restaurants in Boulder, Colo.

The key to survival in this economy, and any other, is to be "relevant and sustainable," according to Mr. Duncan.  That means sticking to your style without being pushed by trends and fads and being loyal to your customers.

"It takes us five years to make a bottle of wine so we avoid being reactionary during challenging times for the industry," he said. "We are pleased to see the pendulum swinging back from the 'blockbuster' wines to more food-friendly, lower alcohol wines."

Russ Weis

General manager

Silverado Vineyards, 6121 Silverado Trail, Napa 94558, 707-257-1770, www.silveradovineyards.com

Lillian Disney and Diane and Ron Miller, the widow, daughter and son-in-law of Walt Disney, bought their first vineyard in 1976, and the Millers bought Silverado Vineyard two years later. The winery was completed in 1983 and is supplied from six family-owned vineyards.

Russell Weis, born in 1962 and a third-generation grape grower, started in the wine business as a tour guide and then publicist for Christian Brothers in St. Helena. He progressed to global brand manager for Christian Brothers parent International Distillers & Vintners in 1990 and later went to Robert Mondavi Winery. He was senior vice president for international business development when he joined Silverado in 2004. He also makes a separate Spanish brand called Melis.

Operational viability includes a shift toward single-vineyard wines and carbon-foot reduction while reducing energy costs via solar power, according to Mr. Weis.

"Today's economic climate makes it more important than ever for us to find ways to stay healthy as a winery and to deliver better value to our customers," he said.

Silverado makes 40,000 to 50,000 cases a year.

Steve Tylicki

General manager and viticulturist

Steele Wines, P.O. Box 190, Kelseyville 95451, 707-279-9475, www.steelewines.com

Steve Tylicki is general manager and viticulturist for winemaker Jed Steele's Steele Winery in Lake County. Last year 73,000 cases were shipped for the brands Steele, Shooting Star, Writer's Block and Styme.

John Trefethen

Proprietor

Trefethen Vineyards, 1160 Oak Knoll Ave., Napa 94558, 707-255-7700, www.trefethen.com

John Trefethen, son of Eugene and Katie Trefethen, who purchased the property with an abandoned winery in 1968, operates the winery with his wife and chief executive officer, Janet.

The first wines appeared in the early 1970s. The winery shipped 60,000 cases last year.

Bob Torkelson

President and chief operating officer

Trinchero Family Estates, P.O. Box 248, St. Helena 94574, 707-963-3104, www.tfewines.com

Since 2004, Bob Torkelson has been president and chief executive officer of Trinchero Family Estates, one of the largest U.S. wine companies with 12 million cases produced last year in brands such as Sutter Home, Trinchero Napa Valley, Montevina, Terra d'Oro, Folie à Deux, Menage à Trois, Napa Cellars, Trinity Oaks, dealcoholized Fre and imports Angove's, Reynolds Vineyards and Little Boomey wines of Australia.

Mr. Torkelson is a wine industry veteran, starting with E&J Gallo right out of college in 1982, and five years later he was general manager of western states operations. He moved to Sacramento-based Lovotti Bros. Distributing Co. as general manager in 1990. Seven years later he joined Trinchero as Midwest division manager, then progressed to oversee national and global sales.

Mike McLoughlin

General manager

Whitehall Lane Winery, 1563 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena 94574, 707-963-9454, www.whitehalllane.com

Mike McLoughlin handles sales, marketing and production as general manager of Whitehall Lane Winery, purchased by the Leonardini family in 1993. The winery made 40,000 to 50,000 cases last year.

His nearly two-decade wine industry background, after he was an options floor broker at the Pacific Stock Exchange, started with Costello Vineyards and then William Hill Winery.